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Recipes, technology, personal stuff and a crap load of archives.

Recipe: Pan Fried Cauliflower

I had a head of cauliflower in the fridge. My original plan was to make cauliflower mash with it. But that bored me. Instead, I broke out the food processor attachment for my stick blender and made a new (to me) thing.

Pan Fried Cauliflower

  • Cauliflower – 1/2 head
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbls
  • Butter – 2 tbls
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The trick here is to start raw cauliflower. Clean off the leaves and break it down into pieces that will fit in the bowl of your food processor. Break down the whole thing because for this, you can use all of the cauliflower, not just the fancy looking parts.

Grind it up until it looks like it has been riced. Depending on your machine, maybe about 30 seconds worth of grinding. Remove any pieces that didn’t hit the blades and put them in with the next batch. My food processor is pretty small, so this took me 3 batches for 1/2 cauliflower.

In your favorite pan, get some olive oil shimmering over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower to the pan with a solid pinch of salt and a few grinds from your pepper mill. Cook this, moving constantly, for about 5 minutes or until it is the consistency your like. Mine was done about like like aldente pasta. Add about 2 tbls of butter to the pan and once melted, let this sit on 1 side for a little extra time to get a bit of color. Careful, this will burn!

This was my first time making this and I can already tell it’s going to be pretty flexible. I added garlic powder and parmesan cheese to finish. Fresh garlic and lemon would be amazing I’m sure. Go crazy and do what you like. I still have 1/2 of a head left and think I’m going to try making that one risotto style. I expect it to be pretty challenging and will report back with the results!

Did you try this? Let me know how it turned out. Comments are open!

Let’s Talk About Beer

This is a topic I am pretty sure I haven’t written about here, a fact that I just realized earlier this week. For those of you that follow me on twitter, you might understand that I like beer. While I wouldn’t call myself a true enthusiast because I’m just not that douchey, I do like to dabble.

I have been accused of drinking too much beer, and with my old pal diabetes, that would be a valid accusation. But here’s the thing; I don’t drink too much beer. I track too much beer. Please note the image for this post. That’s from an app called untappd, which me and many of my fellow beer drinkers use to keep track of the brews we drink, where we drink them and who we drink them with. And that app can be noisy.

For example, while in New York City, I checked into 1 beer and that check-in generated 7 social media posts. Each subsequent beer check-in that night generated even more posts, so by the time I got back to my hotel room, Mom thought I was turning into a raging alcoholic!

Anyway, I’ve been tracking my beers since 2013. in that amount of time, I have tried 489 unique beers according to the app. That is not a perfect number for 1 reason; beer festivals. 1 in particular that is my favorite and it is called Arizona Strong Beer Fest. When it started, it was mostly beers that had an ABV (alcohol content) of 7% or higher. It has turned into a general craft beer event and, I think, it is the largest in Arizona. And it is a great way to spend a Saturday in February on a sunny day with good friends. Don’t bother trying to track the beers you drink unless you are hardcore. Too many people, not enough bandwidth. Also, beer.

I do have my eye on 500 uniques before the end of the year. I could do it this weekend since I’m only 11 away, but that’s not my style. I’m thinking 1 or 2 week until I hit that number, which is reasonable since that is about how many beers I do drink. Just need to make sure they are unique!

Trying Something New

Who among us has seen the Pixar film Wall-e?

The short version is that humans have become lazy creatures that do nothing but stare at communications devices 24/7 until they can no longer move on their own, requiring machines to run their lives. This movie came out in 2008 and I believe it paints a very dreary picture of where we are going as a society. Look around and see how many people are on their phones right now. Next time you are out, especially if it is with someone, keep track of how much time they spend on their phone vs. how much time they spend with you.

There was a time that this was me. Sure, I’m just as guilty as this as the next guy. More and more, however, this behavior has become very annoying to me and I really can’t appreciate spending time with someone that would rather spend their time worrying about what’s happening on a device, as opposed to carrying on a conversation with me. I know I am not alone here.

The phone is a tool for communications. To check your banking. To make purchases. To catch up on news. At least that is what this device will be for me going forward. To be specific, I have removed Facebook, Twitter and Swarm from my phone and don’t expect I will be putting them back at any time. The first reason is so I can spend more time focusing on stuff that I enjoy (writing, podcasting, creating content) and less time worry about the ego stroking crap. Now it’s time to go into list mode for some more specific details.

Facebook

Facebook is probably the worst. The two biggest reasons that I am no longer using it, really, is because I only see posts from the same 4 people over and over again. If I mute them for 30 days, they get replaced by another, until the mute expires. That, and at least in my Facebook, everyone hates everyone that hates the president. I get it, but it’s very tiring and provides zero value to me. I’m also not going to be sharing anything to Facebook except for images from Instagram. Posts, videos and all of that will be going here. If you want to keep up, subscribe via email using the box below or on the side, or using RSS.

Twitter

Unlike Facebook, my Twitter is the exact opposite. Everyone on Twitter hates the President, it’s like it’s the thing to do. I’ve tried unfollowing people that were really bad, but I still see the hate because of Twitter’s crazy timeline that is not in order and makes me see everytime someone likes a post. I prefer to get my news from verified sources and just watching people scream into the ether is very tiring.

Swarm

“The Check-in is the invite” is how we used it within my circle, but never once was I joined by anyone after I checked in, and rarely did I ever join someone that checked in. Those are my closest friends in that app and I can always call or text.

I’m sticking with Instagram because who doesn’t like looking at nice photos of beer, MINIs, food and bicycles? I’m going to continue to poke in on Facebook and Twitter, but only from a computer, not via any app on my phone. And I might revisit Swarm at some point, but for now, it’s gone.

I am also sticking with Strava and Untappd. To me, those are more for tracking (miles riden and beers consumed) and less about interacting. The provide a very great deal of value to me, so for that they stay.

Recipe: Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Yogurt Lemon Dressing

Been a while since I’ve posted here. Figure I should get back to it with a brand new recipe. This was exactly what I wanted and I think you’ll dig it.

Oven Roasted Chicken Salad with Yogurt Lemon Dressing

I’m writing this how I will make it next time, not how I made it this time. I was in a rush and skipped some steps.

Ingredients

  • 1 Chicken Breast, cooked and diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Avocado (optional)

Dressing

  • 1 cup plain yogurt. Greek works too
  • 2 cloves of garlic, but go nuts here if you want
  • Juice from 1/2 a Lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste, figure about 2tsp of each
  • 1tbls Olive Oil

For the dressing, assemble everything and mix well. If you can give this an hour in the fridge, that would be ideal. Seriously, I really like garlic, so I used 4 cloves because I’m crazy like that. You can adjust this to your liking.

For the chicken breast, cook this using your preferred method. I oven roasted tonight and for this application it works perfectly. But grilled would be equally amazing!

Another trick that I have recently learned is to pre-salt the tomatoes and drain them after about 15 minutes. Takes away some of the bitter and leaves less liquid in the salad.

Putting it all together
Mix up your veggies and your chicken. Toss that with about 2tbls of the dressing and top with sliced avodado to make it look fancy. A few grinds from the pepper mill wouldn’t hurt either.

Simple and quick and oh man this was good! If you make this, be sure to come back and let us know how it turned out!

Recipe Review: Cabbage Salsa

I have another recipe showing up soon, but today, you get this gem. Actually requested, it’s made with cabbage, vinegar and it’s boiled. Yea, I was equally skeptical until I tried it, which is why I’m writing up now. This one is from The Great Salsa Book and was shared with me. Which also means that now I’m going to have to have this book.

As seen above, served this with some thick cut pork chops and it was great. Equally good with a chip or a spoon! You will want to try this one.

Cabbage Salsa

Ingredients

  • Unseasoned Rick Wine Vinegar – 1 12oz bottle
  • 1c Water
  • 4 Serrano Chilies, sliced (leave the seeds you sissy). If they are big, you only need 2 unless you like it spicy!
  • 3tbls sugar
  • 1/2tsp Salt – I did 2 good pinches of Kosher salt here, about 1tbls
  • 1 20oz can crushed pineapple, drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, mincend
  • 1 head of white cabbage, chopped into 1/2″ pieces

Stick with me here. Your whole house is going to smell like an ass factory, but the end result is really worth it. A quick note about the Serranos; handle these little guys with gloves, cut them first, put them into a bowl by themselves and then clean everything really well, unless you want everything that you cut with the knife and board for a week to be spicy!

Preparation
Into a large sauce pan, add the vinegar, water, serranos, sugar and salt. Bring this to a boil and reduce by half, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and cook for 2 minutes, remove from heat.

Strain the mixture and save the liquid. Move into a bowl to cool and add back 2tbls of the reserved liquid. Don’t ice bath this! You can cool it quickly in the freezer in about 15-20 minutes.

Add the remain ingredients, stir to combine.

This benefits from a solid hour in the fridge to get cool and for the flavors to mingle, if not longer.

Vinegar, while making your house smell horrible, really knocks the bitter out of the cabbage. Instead of a salsa that tastes like cabbage, you get a salsa that is very hearty, slightly sweet, spicy and delicious! I will be making another batch of this for my Super Bowl festivities for sure!